NFLPA's JC Tretter: NFL Tried to 'Walk Back' Changes Made in CBA Negotiations

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 5, 2020

Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter (64) lines up against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Tense negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA regarding revisions to the collective bargaining agreement amid the COVID-19 pandemic eventually led to a verbal agreement between the two sides on July 24.

However, an official pact wasn't completed until Monday.

NFLPA President and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman JC Tretter spoke with Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio and gave the players' union's side about why that was the case.

"Especially this weekend but through the whole thing, the NFL wanted to kind of walk back a lot of the really good things we had gotten in the deal," Tretter said.

"And once they realized there were things they didn't like, they wanted to change that. And we weren't willing to move off the deal that we signed because we thought we had a really good deal. There were issues on the economics, there were issues on the safety protections that they wanted to make last-minute adjustments to that we just weren't going to allow to be changed."

Florio mentioned that the NFL wanted to revisit an agreement to disperse the financial losses the league will incur in 2020 as a result of losing preseason games and attendance revenue over a four-year stretch.

Tretter also said the NFLPA had to fight for the $350,000 stipend for players with high-risk medical decisions who decided to sit out the 2020 NFL season, and that included undrafted players who signed with a team but may not have made the final roster.

NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah confirmed Tretter's account to Florio and said the league tried to "relitigate issues." The NFL had not provided comment to Florio before the article was published Tuesday evening.

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With agreements officially in place, NFL training camps are underway, although in a far different capacity than previous years.

For starters, there are no fans, and all camps are being held at team facilities.

Furthermore, teams are running through workouts and drills but can't have padded practices until Aug. 17. Preseason has been canceled, meaning the next time teams take the field for organized games will be Week 1 of the regular season, beginning Sept. 10.

Rosters will also look different, with a host of players deciding to sit out the season for various reasons (e.g., self, family) because of COVID-19. Per NFL.com, the list has risen to 53 players as of Tuesday evening.